2008 ALMS Mid-Ohio Race - Sibling Rivalry

Lacking Outside Competition, Corvette Racing's Internecine Battle Heats Up At Mid-Ohio

Dr. Greg Johnson Jan 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Corvette Racing Profile: Dan Binks
Dan Binks, crew chief for Corvette Racing's No. 3 C6.R, has been involved in cars and racing his entire life. Racing fever came early, as Binks' father, Phil, raced Bugeye Sprites and later a Dolphin sportsracer, recruiting his son to crew on the car. The younger Binks built his first engine for his dad at age 11 and has been wrenching seriously ever since.

When Binks was still in high school, racer Fuzzy Stewart recruited him to crew for his SCCA D-production Datsun roadster. After graduation, he was offered a position as a mechanic at Phil Conti's organization, which raced modified Lolas, with John Morton driving. That first season started out rough, with the car not performing up to its potential. Binks was soon asked to take over managing the car's race preparation, and by the time the Road America event rolled around, he was the crew chief.

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In 1985, Binks moved to the Clayton Cunningham team as crew chief for its IMSA GTU and Camel Lights programs. It proved a very successful stint, with championships coming that year-with Jack Baldwin driving-as well as in 1986, 1987, and 1988, with Tommy Kendall at the wheel. In 1989, Kendall and Binks teamed up to take a Third-Place season finish in Trans-Am, followed by an overall championship in 1990. The pair was then hired by Pratt & Miller for an Intrepid project that ran from 1991 to 1992, after which Binks moved to Roush Racing. While there, he led an IMSA GTS Mustang campaign to championships in 1995, 1996, and 1997. Roush then moved Binks to the Craftsman Truck Series, where he oversaw Greg Biffle's Second and First overall finishes in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

When Pratt & Miller needed an accomplished crew chief for the Corvette Racing program, it decided Binks was the man for the job. He came to P&M in 2003 and has played an integral role there ever since. Binks' role at the track is crew chief for the No. 3 car, but back at the shop, he oversees the assembly and preparation efforts for both of the C6.Rs. Since he began his term in New Hudson, the team has taken five consecutive ALMS GT1 titles and enjoyed three wins at Le Mans. Binks, meanwhile, has twice been named ALMS Crew Chief of the Year. As if all that wasn't enough, Binks also restores cars for private customers (he just finished a '60 Corvette for Max Papis) at his well-appointed home shop.

Despite his obvious dedication to his career, the cen-tering force in Binks' life is his family. His 15-year-old son, Philip, seems to have inherited a passion for racing and car preparation, as you can find him in the Corvette garage during ALMS events, helping out in whatever way possible. Daughter Sarah is quite an aggressive racer in her own right, with an eye toward go-karts as dad's budget and time allow. Holding it all together is Binks' supportive wife, Sherry, whom Dan credits for making it all happen.

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